Goodwin Procter is changing its summer associate program to a five-week, virtual experience as coronavirus forces law firms to think outside the box when it comes to ushering in their new crop of talent.
The firm’s 2020 summer program will now begin on July 6 and will be halved in length from the usual ten weeks, the firm said in an email to its incoming summer associates on Wednesday.
Instead of an in-person program the summer associates will virtually participate in trainings, attend presentations and meetings, as well as have opportunities to network with Goodwin’s lawyers and team members.
“Our decision to go forward with our summer program was driven by the importance we place on recruiting our next generation of lawyers and by our commitment to providing our summer associates with the best exposure to our lawyers and our culture during their 2L summer,” said the firm’s national hiring partner Emily Rapalino in an email to Bloomberg Law.
By shifting to an online program, the firm said it wanted to alleviate any concerns regarding travel or short-term housing amid uncertainties caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
“We are excited to present our summer associates with a creative summer program in this new virtual format, and we are confident that our summer associates will gain true insight into Goodwin’s work and culture through our virtual program,” Rapalino said.
Goodwin is the latest law firm to announce changes to its summer associate program in recent days and one of the first to publicly disclose that it will be moving its program online. Baker Botts said it is delaying the start of its summer associate program and expecting an online curriculum and early job offers for law students.
Cahill Gordon & Reindel is suspending its 2020 summer associate program, but is still paying the students in full and would be extending offers to join the firm full-time after their graduation in 2021.
These programs are a key part of the associate recruitment process and often provide an opportunity for the law students involved to meet future bosses and colleagues, serving effectively as a try-out for a full-time position at the firm.